Between the later middle ages and the eighteenth century, religious orders were in the vanguard of reform movements within the Christian church. Recent scholarship on medieval Europe has emphasised how mendicants exercised a significant influence on the religiosity of the laity by actually shaping their spirituality and piety. In a similar way for the early modern period, religious orders have been credited with disseminating Tridentine reform, training new clergy, gaining new converts and bringing those who had strayed back into the fold. Much about this process, however, still remains unknown, particularly with regards to east central Europe. Exploring the complex relationship between western monasticism and lay society in east central Europe across a broad chronological timeframe, this collection provides a re-examination of the level and nature of interaction between members of religious orders and the communities around them. That the studies in this collection are all located in east central Europe - Transylvania, Hungary, Austria, and Bohemia- fulfils a second key aim of the volume: the examination of clerical and lay piety in a region of Europe almost entirely ignored by western scholarship. As such the volume provides an important addition to current scholarship, showcasing fresh research on a subject and region on which little has been published in English. The volume further contributes to the reintegration of eastern and western European history, expanding the existing parameters of scholarly discourse into late medieval and early modern religious practice and piety.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: communities of devotion: religious orders and society in East Central Europe, 1450-1800, Maria Craciun and Elaine Fulton; Mendicant piety and the Saxon community of Transylvania, c. 1450-1550, Maria Craciun; The influence of Franciscan friars on popular piety in the kingdom of Hungary at the end of the 15th century, Marie-Madeleine de Cevins (translated by Max von Habsburg); The third path: charity and devotion in late medieval Transylvanian towns, Carmen Florea; Conflict and cooperation: the reform of religious orders in early 16th-century Hungary, Gabriella Erdélyi; Between bishop and prince: monasteries and authority in Austria in the late 16th century, Rona Johnston Gordon; Mutual aid: the Jesuits and the courtier in 16th-century Vienna, Elaine Fulton; Jesuits, confessional identities and landlordship in God's Transylvanian vineyard, 1580-88, Christine Peters; Tanquam peregrini: pilgrimage practice in the Bohemian Franciscan province, Martin Ebel; The Basilian monk and the identity of the Uniate Church in 18th-century Transylvania, Greta-Monica Miron (translated by Maria CrÃ£ciun); Epilogue, Ronnie Po-chia Hsia; Index.
Dr Maria Craciun, University of Cluj, Romania and Dr Elaine Fulton, University of Birmingham, UK
'This collection is a most welcome and highly relevant contribution to existing scholarship in English on religious developments in late-medieval and early-modern east central Europe.' Catholic Historical Review '... Communities of Devotion offers a fascinating insight into the role of religious orders in various social environments of East Central Europe and provides a valuable basis for further research in the field of shared lay and regular devotional cultures.' Historians of Women Religious of Britain and Ireland 'This book, more focused than many comparable collected editions, is a trailblazing achievement and points toward many future avenues of research.' Religious Studies Review 'The contributions to this volume enrich our knowledge of the period in this region, complementing the growing scholarly literature available to an Anglophone audience, important elements of which have been provided by Maria Craciun herself.' Renaissance Quarterly 'This important collection of nine essays considers the changing world of Catholicism in Central Europe from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century.' European History Quarterly